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Expiration date.

"From 1946 to 1973, more than 350 people died in abandoned refrigerators." --The Boston Globe

   I never thought I'd die like this, trapped
   inside an unplugged Frigidaire, not after
   all the warnings we'd heard as kids
   about the airtight seal, the hidden latch
   only the outer handle disengaged.
   "Trust me, love," you said, so I got in.
   Now my nose and lips and fingertips
   are black; my lungs are full of bloody froth.
   Monstrous, love made me monstrous.
   I see that now. I understand. Don't worry
   that I suffered much: the panic and panting
   lasted maybe half an hour. Then I blacked out.
   I'm sorry you looked before you left:
   rictus, clenched fists, my bulbous eyes
   imply an anger I could never feel.
   Instead of them remember this: the heart
   of an asphyxiate beats on, harder and faster,
   for several minutes after breathing stops,
   the way mine always did waiting for you.

Tim McBride works at SAS Institute in Cary, North Carolina. He has also worked for USAID, NC State University, and the Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo in El Batan, Mexico. He has published one book of poems, The Manageable Cold (TriQuarterly Press, 2010).

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Author:McBride, Tim
Publication:River Styx
Article Type:Poem
Date:Jul 1, 2015
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